ISLA’s High School program continues building and strengthening the independent skills fostered through our Elementary and Middle School programs. In many ways, the Middle and High School programs are very similar. Students continue to receive focused academic instruction in the core areas (reading, writing, science, math). Their learning continues to occur under the framework of integrated unit themes (all units are developed based on the required learning objectives of the US Common Core Standards and a top international framework of learning standards).
What makes ISLA’s high school program so unique is in our focus on project development. Students begin to identify areas of interest for university study or future employment. We then personally help each one to identify large personal projects, encompassing a variety of subject areas. Students spend a significant portion of their final two years of ISLA working on their personal projects. This might mean spending time volunteering at a local hospital or helping to raise funds for the construction of a water well. Our team of educators meets regularly with students and helps make community connections that foster the learning process. Over the course of a lengthy, integrated collaborative project, the students develop a portfolio of work that they may then submit to universities as evidence of their passion for and ability to solve world problems.
In addition to the personal projects, students focus on successful achievement on the SAT and/or ACT exams. Students also complete rigorous, college preparatory math classes using the best in online technology. ISLA students are given focused instruction on academic writing and are exposed to complex texts and classic literature. As a STEAM school, ISLA also puts a strong focus on design and the sciences. Students complete hands-on projects coupled with a focus on deep investigation and understanding. Finally, a heavy focus is placed on technological literacy. We teach students to utilize the tools available to them and to understand that rote memorization is no longer necessary. Instead, students must be able to quickly access information and make an assessment of that information’s factual basis.